Shelby Loves Rescue Readers!

Shelby a therapy dog poses with a children's book called Dog Food during Rescue Readers

Hi there families and kids! My name is Shelby! I’m a certified therapy dog who sometimes comes to visit AWS on Wednesdays during Rescue Readers. My handler and I love to visit you kids because we believe in the program and have seen first hand how it can make a difference for those who struggle to read out loud. If you’re not familiar with Rescue Readers, let me tell you all about it!

Although I’m relatively new to the program, Animal Welfare Society has been hosting Rescue Readers for many years now. In a nutshell, Rescue Readers is open to students in grades 1-8 who are interested in reading out loud to animals like me. We’ve found that reading aloud forms a special bond between student and pet that makes the child feel safe. It provides enrichment and positive socialization for animals at the shelter. It boosts confidence in the children reading. And finally, it gives students a safe space to build a positive association with reading. It’s really a win-win for everybody!

Why does Shelby love Rescue Readers, you ask? For therapy dogs like me, I get to enjoy the confidence and fun that children have when they pick up a good book and we settle down to read. I love to listen patiently and enjoy getting gentle pets and head rubs as I listen to the story. I really have the best job! For the resident shelter pets, they really enjoy the socialization and enrichment that comes with hearing children read aloud. All animals benefit from getting read to, whether they are a dog, a cat, a hamster, a bird, or the occasional reptile

If you’re a child who struggles to read, has stage fright reading out loud, I’m here to listen! If you’re a kiddo who wants to better your reading with more challenging books, I’m here to help. In fact, if you need to take your time or skip over big words or simply want to make up your own story to go along with the pictures… that’s cool with me! I’ll always wag my tail and give you kisses! Grown ups tell me I’m non-judgmental which is a big word that means I love hearing you read, no matter what! Above all, reading should be fun and us pets will ensure that it stays that way.

If you and your family want to come read to pets like me, I have som good news! Rescue Readers is completely FREE and only requires that you register in advance. It takes places every Wednesday from 3:00 pm – 4:00pm, and there are two, half-hour sessions – 3-3:30 and 3:30 – 4, accordingly. I might not be able to make it every week, but I promise that there are plenty of wonderful pets here! All my shelter pet friends are ready and eager to listen to a good story. We just need you to pick out a good book for us!

Register now for next Wednesday and ensure that you get a spot to read to resident pets like me. We can’t wait to hear from you!! And if you do get to read to me, be sure to say, “Shelby Loves Rescue Readers!”